Dr. Tony George M.D, FRCPC
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Presenting:  Cannabis Legalization and Psychiatric Disorders: Caveat “Hemp-tor”


As a Clinician-Researcher, Dr. Tony George is Head of Biobehavioural Addictions and Concurrent Disorders Research Laboratory (BACDRL) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Program Director, CAMH Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. He is also Deputy Editor of Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Dr. George directs a program of research at University of Toronto dedicated to understanding the biological basis of addiction co-morbidity (e.g. tobacco and cannabis) in serious mental illness, with a focus on schizophrenia and mood disorders. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). 

Dr. George completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, graduating with his M.D. degree. Dr. George then completed psychiatry residency training and a fellowship in Translational Neuroscience at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, joining the faculty at Yale in 1998. He was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University before coming to Toronto in late 2006. He was the inaugural holder of the Chair in Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Clinical Director/Chief of the Schizophrenia Division, Medical Director of the Complex Mental Illness Program and Chief, Addictions Division at CAMH.

Dr. George has over 275 peer-reviewed publications, and is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). Since 2013 he has served as Deputy Editor of the ACNP’s journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. George wrote the chapter on Nicotine and Tobacco for Cecil Textbook of Medicine in 2011, 2015 and 2019, and is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Canadian Council on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and co-edited its report on Cannabis and Youth in 2015. 

Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park;
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada;
Refugee to Canada and Human Rights Lawyer.
Presenting: “Youth mental health in marginalized communities: Antibullying and Antistigma Initiatives.”


Coming to Canada as a Ugandan Asian refugee in 1972, Mr. Virani’s parents instilling in him the values of honesty, hard work, determination and most importantly of all – education. Graduating from McGill University in History and Political Science, and later from University of Toronto in Law, he has followed his passions of public service and justice. 

After a rewarding fourteen-year legal career advocating for human rights and access to justice as a constitutional litigator,  Mr. Virani now proudly serves the community and country he calls home, as the Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park, and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. 

He has also worked as an Analyst with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa and an Investigator at la Commission des droits de la personne et droits de la jeunesse in Montreal. Overseas, Mr. Virani completed international human rights research on caste discrimination in Northern India, and served as a Programme Officer with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, developing mechanisms to strengthen police accountability. During a sabbatical from the Ministry of the Attorney General, he spent a year as an Assistant Trial Attorney prosecuting genocide at the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Mr. Virani is a founder of Toronto's legal aid clinic SALCO, the recipient of the prestigious 2001 Harold G. Fox Scholarship and the 2008 Wilson-Prichard Award in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and his community. He lives and volunteers in Parkdale - High Park; he is a member of the Redwood Shelter for abused women, regularly helps at the Parkdale Food Bank, is an active volunteer with Roncyworks and has led community efforts to address mental health stigma.